“I can see its eyes”. “Not sure them things is eyes”.
On her way home one night nursing student Sam (Jodie Whittaker) is mugged by a gang of teenagers. Pest (Alex Esmail), Dennis (Franz Drameh), Jerome (Leeon Jones), Biggz (Simon Howard) and their leader Moses (John Boyega). In mid crime a meteorite crashes into a nearby car. Sam uses the distraction to escape the gang. Seizing an opportunity Moses searches the car looking for valuables. The meteorite cracks open revealing a small alien. The alien scratches Moses. The gang kills it. Thinking the creature could be valuable Moses and the gang take it to the local drug dealer Ron (Nick Frost) and his gangster boss Hi-Hatz (Jumayn Hunter). Brewis (Luke Treadaway), a young zoology fan happens to be at Ron’s buying pot when the gang gets there with the alien.
While discussing the situation the gang sees more meteorites come down. Arming themselves with whatever is at hand the gang runs out to defend their crime-ridden neighborhood from the aliens. This time, however, the aliens are larger with black fur, claws and huge teeth. The aliens kill Dennis’s dog and the gang flees.
With aliens chasing them Moses is caught by police. Sam, who is in the police van, identifies Moses as one of the gang members that mugged her. Just then two aliens come up and kill the police officers. When the aliens attack the van the other gang members chase them away. The gang then steals the police van with Sam inside. They crash the van into Hi-Hatz’ car pissing him off. Sam runs away again.
Aliens attack again. Pest gets bitten. When Moses find’s out that Sam is a nursing student that lives in their building they force their way into her apartment looking for help for Pest. Eventually they convince her that there are aliens running around killing people and enlist her help. Half the night is spent fleeing from aliens or trying to kill aliens.
"Attack the Block" was released in 2011 and was directed by Joe Cornish. These are some of the best low-budget aliens I have ever seen. They are such a deep black with sharp teeth that glow. Most of the creature effects were done with puppets. Very little CGI was used. Mostly just to enhance the puppet creatures. Only two alien suits were constructed. Still the whole effect is extremely well done and quite frightening. The movie itself is a wonderful combination of science fiction, horror and comedy. The heroes are a gang of street thug children. Using whatever weapons they have they defend their territory. The main difference between these guys and your basic monster movie teens is that these guys have street smarts.
There’s going to be a learning curve with this one since the characters are from a crime ridden neighborhood in South London. The accents are pure and the slang is street so if you have problems understanding some of it, let it go. Let the words run over you. Also, it may take a while to get use to these hoodlums as being heroes but eventually you get to understand them and why they are who they are.
Director and writer Joe Cornish uses virtually unknown actors that have real talent. The characters are well developed. The story is intriguing. The pace is fast. The mix of comedy and horror is well blended. If you are looking for something different, something special you can’t go wrong with this.
Sam is played by Jodie Whittaker the new Dr. Who. Moses is John Boyega, Finn from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”. Of course there is also Nick Frost from “Shaun of the Dead”.